U.S. Women’s National Team star Megan Rapinoe recently confirmed on Twitter that she’ll visit Congress instead of the White House following the Women’s World Cup in France.
Champions visiting the White House is a typical tradition for most sports, whether its Super Bowl champions, NCAA champions, NBA champions, World Series champions, or World Cup champions. In fact, when the U.S. Women’s National Team won the Women’s World Cup in 2015, then-President Barack Obama hosted the team at the White House, and spoke for 11 minutes about the team’s accomplishments.
“…Carli [Lloyd]’s performance was so good that by the time the game was over, someone had changed her title on Wikipedia from ‘midfielder’ to ‘president of the United States.’ Which, by the way, the job is about to open up,” Obama said. He added, “I guarantee you Carli knows more about being president than some of the folks who are running. But that’s a whole other — that’s a whole other topic of conversation.”
However, visiting the Trump White House has become a contentious political issue, given the divisive nature of his administration. While the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots visited the White House, the Golden State Warriors declined after winning the NBA Finals in both 2017 and 2018. President Trump insisted that the Warriors weren’t invited, given that head coach Steve Kerr is an outspoken critic of Trump and his policies.
In the case of Rapinoe, the star soccer player has made no bones about her refusal to visit the Trump White House should her team win the Women’s World Cup.
“I’m not going to the fucking White House,” Rapinoe told Eight to Eight.
— Eight by Eight (@8by8mag) June 25, 2019
Following the U.S. Women’s National Team victory over France in the World Cup quarterfinal, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) recently tweeted at the soccer star that she would love to host the Women’s National Team in the U.S. House of Representatives in lieu of a White House visit.
“It may not be the White House, but we’d be happy to welcome @mPinoe & the entire #USWNT for a tour of the House of Representatives anytime they’d like,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.
“Consider it done @AOC,” Rapinoe responded.
Rapinoe, who is openly lesbian, plainly said that because Trump has attacked marginalized groups like the LGBT community, she has no interest in a photo-op with the President of the United States.
“I am not going to fake it,” she said, “hobnob with the president, who is clearly against so many of the things that I am [for] and so many of the things that I actually am. I have no interest in extending our platform to him.”
(Featured image: Jamie Smed/Creative Commons)
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.